REBIRTH: Birth-Death-Rebirth Life Cycle
The first time we made this journey it was dark, cramped, scary and altogether unpleasant. Except, of course, for the relief we felt to finally be doing something! The ongoing birth-death-rebirth cycle of human life is difficult to deal with. Who wouldn’t want to experience continuous positive growth and good feelings? However, that’s not the way life is, and acknowledging the natural order of things provides comfort for a struggle that often feels life-threatening.
Rather we are dealing with health, relationships, finances, work, or home, when a death cycle hits, we are unprepared. All of a sudden our life won’t support us anymore and we have to move on in some way. The feelings that go along with dramatic life shifts are similar to those reported from recall of the birth experience — fear, tremendous physical struggle and insufficient oxygen supply (I can’t breathe!). It is no wonder we don’t want to participate. Sorry! Not an option. Climbing back into the womb just doesn’t work. Change is in the air. You and I, and a lot of the people we know, are feeling a warning spasm. Labor has begun. Planet Earth herself is going through a death-rebirth cycle. We the microcosm and Earth, the macrocosm, are in synch and in for a ride.
How many times have you been here already? What was that like? You did survive didn’t you? And you will this time, too. Take heart, gather your courage and participate in your rebirth process. In times like these:
1) Trust your intuition. You do know what you know.
2) Get out of denial and stay out. Stop fighting the process of change.
3) Find a midwife to assist you in the rebirth.
4) Do something to promote the new order of things.
5) Trust that the actions you take will get you where you need to be — eventually.
6) Support yourself with positive experiences. You are fragile right now. Be gentle.
7) If you are berating yourself and being negative, stop it! It might be helpful to make a list of all the negative shoulds and oughts you are laying on yourself so you can intervene and get back on course muy pronto.
8) Seek inspiration. Go inside yourself each day. Use prayer, meditation, contemplation, yoga, Tai Chi, journaling, walking, swimming and anything else that works for you.
9) Treat symptoms of depression seriously. Get help.
10) Have hope. This won’t last forever. Make a list of positive affirmations to say to yourself when you have an attack of the I-can’t-breathe-panic-attack feeling. Some affirmations include: “I can do this.” “It will be interesting to see what happens.” “One day at a time.” (Note: “I’ll think about that tomorrow,” does not work unless you are Scarlett O’Hara.)
11) Have faith in a better future. If you can’t summon faith within yourself, find a group that has it, hang out around them and know you will catch on. Can you see the pin-prick of light at the end of the dark tunnel you are in? This is where you are going.
Rebirth is magical. I will always thank a caterpillar named Charlie for showing me the mystery. One October when my daughters were small, they brought a fat wiggly caterpillar home on a stick, named him Charlie, and stuffed the captured creature inside a mayonnaise jar filled with green leaves. Within a few days Charlie and a lot of leaves disappeared, and a chubby brown cylinder took his place on the stick.
Protecting Charlie became part of my routine. It takes a long time for winter to come and go. Many days I watched the insignificant brown blob and protected it from too much of anything, hot, cold or chemical. Day after day, from my vantage point outside the cocoon it appeared as if nothing was going on inside the mayonnaise jar.
Until one March weekend, a tiny hole appeared at one end of the hairy pod. The change was an epic family event, and we gathered around like awe-stuck spectators to an archeological dig. Continually and diligently the cocoon encased creature gnawed away, and the hole grew wider. Finally an icky grey thing — Charlie no more — plopped out into the jar. The lifeless form lay there looking dead, and for a minute we wondered if it was all over.
But one of the girls rescued the jar and opened the lid wide, releasing a noxious whoosh of moldy smelling air. Within minutes the slimy grey thing sparkled with iridescent specks of color. Wet wings unfolded, stretched wide and lifted the flapping creature into the air, where it fluttered around the room and soared through the open door.
Freedom. New life. It happens. The moral of this story: Just keep gnawing!